When considering a new Kitchen it is often advisable to contact a builder or kitchen fitter to discuss options before deciding on a kitchen supplier. Having said that, most kitchen suppliers offer a free design service and they are the best people to fully understand the space available and find a suitable design solution. Because of the many variations available for the inside of kitchen cabinets and drawers, a builder or installer will not be aware of these so ask the designer to recommend.
You will have a choice of whether to go fo a “High Street” brand or to go for a bespoke hand built kitchen. There are a few independent suppliers as well but on the whole, I find our clients tend to go for the well known high street brands such as Howdens, Benchmarx, Magnet, Wren etc.
Howdens and Benchmarx are tow brands that carry a huge stock of kitchen cabinets and kitchen fittings. This will allow some flexibility when the work begins as an exact date is not required for the supplier to supply the kitchen. So if the job is over running, ahead of schedule or maybe not started, a pre-arranged delivery date will not be required. A lot of companies will schedule in a delivery date even before the work has started so there is a danger of the kitchen arriving before it’s required or arriving later and. Holding the work up. Always ask the question of the supplier about this and what their delivery schedule policy is.
Avoid using some of the cheaper brands as the quality may not be good enough to last (read the reviews!) and be aware that if the kitchen arrives flat packed, who is going to build it? They are easy to assemble but very time consuming so make sure your builder is aware and you have either agreed for them to do it or for you or third party to undertake.
It is worth noting that when you have a new kitchen fitted, the old one often becomes unusable on day one and you wont get access until the job is complete. Start to plan how you will live your life during the works i.e. can you put the toaster, kettle, microwave and fridge in another room temporarily? Possibly also the appliances such as washing machine and dishwasher can be set up for the duration of works?
Always discuss with you builder the fine details of the kitchen quotation once you have finalised a design. Have they or you allowed for the supply and installation of under unit lights or other feature lighting? Will you being having a tiled “upstand” or “splash back.” Discuss your floor finishes and check who is best suited to fit. A lot of builders will be happy to install flooring, but some products are best fitted by a specialist is order to not invalidate the warranty.
The choice of cabinet usually comes down to budget. The more expensive, often the better quality so do your research to establish what you can afford.
The largest single item expense will often be spent on the work top. They generally fall into three categories:
When we quoted for this project, the client decided on a Howdens Kitchen with a quartz worktop supplied and fitted by a specialist. Basically, they come in when the base units are fitted to create a template. They then returned a week later to fit the finished worktop.
Our client was quite clever in selling the old kitchen on Ebay, so although we had to be a bit more careful when we removed it, it gave the client some extra cash and saved a lot on waste disposal costs as as well.
We decide to re-route and run you water and waste pipes to improve the longer term drainage. Quite often the old pipes, (I mean old!) really should be updated and improved at this time as they are prone to fail eventually. Sometimes when stripping off old tiles, they remove the “bonding” plaster revealing the brick work. This did require a little bit of additional work before applying the “finishing plaster” or “skim Coat” as it is often called. It was essential to also get the walls nice and flat as well as smooth as we were tiling the splash back in a rather intricate herringbone pattern that is unforgiving with wobbly walls!
The floor was in a bit of a state when we removed the tiles. There was a combination of concrete and timber sub floor which required levelling compound and screed. It was extremely important to create a stable base on which to lay electric under floor heating and tiles.
There was not much more structural work required as no walls were coming down, or bi-fold doors installed, a regular feature of most of the kitchen refurbishments we now carry out!
Finally, the client chose a Quooker boiling tap (which I would personally highly recommend). They are quite easy to instal, very expensive, but worth every penny!
The painting was actually carried out by the client. We directed them on the correct paint and process to ensure a good, long lasting and durable finish.
The end result, as always was pleasing to them and us, and being in East Molesey, local!